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Moscow Concerned About US Threats to Iran on Persian Gulf Issue, Calls for Restraint

© REUTERS / US NAVYTwo Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGCN) vessels, some of several to maneuver in what the U.S. Navy says are "unsafe and unprofessional actions against U.S. Military ships by crossing the ships’ bows and sterns at close range" is seen next to the guided-missile destroyer USS Paul Hamilton in the Gulf April 15, 2020. U.S. Navy/Handout via REUTERS.
Two Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGCN) vessels, some of several to maneuver in what the U.S. Navy says are unsafe and unprofessional actions against U.S. Military ships by crossing the ships’ bows and sterns at close range is seen next to the guided-missile destroyer USS Paul Hamilton in the Gulf April 15, 2020. U.S. Navy/Handout via REUTERS. - Sputnik International
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Tensions in the Persian Gulf have spiked recently after the US complained of "harassment" by Iranian gunboats sailing in close proximity with US warships, which prompted a series of mutual threats from both Washingon and Tehran.

Russia is concerned by the US threats to Iran amid tensions in the Persian Gulf and is calling on both sides to exercise restraint, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Saturday.

According to the diplomat, the United States is interpreting its right to self-defence in its own way by threatening Iran with attacks in the Gulf.

"This is one of the methods that create uncertainty in the international community, this is a deliberate desire to sow discord among members of the international community, given that different countries interpret the relevant provisions of international law differently. This is one of the elements of US policy that is aimed at continuing to play on the nerves", Ryabkov stated.

President Trump announced that he "instructed" the US Navy to "shoot down and destroy" any Iranian vessels that harass American warships. The development follows complaints by the Navy that some Iranian vessels were in dangerously close proximity to American warships in the Persian Gulf.

In this photo released on Monday, Oct. 1, 2018, by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, missiles are fired from city of Kermanshah in western Iran targeting the Islamic State group in Syria. - Sputnik International
Iran Boasts of Powerful Naval Strike Missiles Following US Drills in Persian Gulf

The head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Hossein Salami warned the US against engaging in hostile actions against Iranian vessels, threatening a "crushing response". 

Iran's Foreign Minister, in turn, noted that the US "has no business 7,000 miles away from home" provoking Iranian sailors in its territorial waters.

Tensions between Iran and the US intensified in January following the killing of Iran's top military commander Qasem Soleimani by a US drone strike at the Baghdad international airport. Shia militia commander Abu Mahdi Muhandis was also killed in the attack. Washington alleged that the two commanders had been involved in the attack on the US Embassy in Baghdad in December 2019.

Tehran responded to Soleimani's killing by carrying out airstrikes against two US military bases in Iraq.

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